Years and years ago little-known artist Tysen Knight was working as a barber, actor and model while trying to make enough money to stay off the streets of New York, where yes, he was homeless at one point in time.
Growing up in New Jersey though, Tysen remembers falling in love with the colors and beauty of the ‘Graffiti Culture’ and art form seen around the New York subways as he would ride it into town with his parents. Since that moment, he has been inspired to create artwork whenever he could, not realizing that one day, he’d develop into one of the country’s most recognized street artists.
“I would tag the trains and walls of the subways (on occasions) but I really practiced my art in New Jersey on the streets since that is where I lived and had access to spray paint and paint markers. As my popularity grew I would airbrush jeans and t-shirts for kids and adults in my neighborhood for $25 dollars. Being homeless was a very humbling experience for me, it taught me compassion and humility. After my stint of homelessness I became a different individual, the passion to pursue my art became extremely intense and could not be ignored. Everything started to click and I never looked back.”
After his art started to sell for higher prices to art collectors across New York, Tysen decided to make the move to California to continue pursuing his passion in the arts and immerse himself into the art culture in Venice Beach, California, painting the Venice Walls. From there, Tysen would go on to grow in popularity, developing various forms of art for celebrity fans, cities and collectors.
Today, Tysen has continued to paint, while also mentoring youth in different communities that want to pursue the arts, and also filmed his own award-winning documentary called, ''Homeless Street Artist’’, which has screened twice at different film festivals in NYC.
“I was honored by the overwhelming reception for my New York screenings of the documentary. People were able to connect because the story was real and relatable, it shined a light on homelessness in our society and the necessary steps we can take to care about our fellow man and woman.”
Next up for Tysen is the creation of his “Tysen Knight Scholarship Fund’’ which will reward students in low income families the opportunity to attain higher education. He will be sponsoring community art exhibits and within these shows, he will help build confidence and inspire youth and young adults to pursue their dreams and life goals. Also on the agenda, Tysen heads to Miami, Florida for the world popular Art Basel event, where his art pieces will be showcased at “Red Dot Miami” from December 4th to 8th in the beautiful Wynwood Art District.
“I will be showcasing my Street Bench Pilot Project “Icons” series, based off my public art installation of Street Bench Art in Palm Springs, California. This is a major show with about 38,000 attendees and art collectors from around the world.”
And don’t worry, Tysen hasn’t forgotten about us here in New York. He tells us exclusively that he is in talks to create an artwork collection for a gallery based in the city, which will help to showcase his journey from his roots.
Whatever happens next, Tysen is proof that no matter what your dream is, you can achieve it with enough dedication and passion!
“It’s a wonderful feeling to impact lives in a positive way, giving hope and inspiring people from my roots to across the world! #BeINSPIRED!”
For more on Tysen and his art visit: https://www.tysenknight.com/